Fixing Windows 7 MBR

To free up disk space I recently did some shuffling on my PC that had an old version of Ubuntu Linux installed to dual boot with Windows 7. Since I have Ubuntu installed and available on other systems now I decided to remove this partition. After doing this and rebooting I was presented with a problem.

All I saw after the POST screen was: grub rescue>

I first thought about trying to restore the windows boot loader from grub but wasn’t able to find a quick solution. Then after doing a bit of searching I found my Windows 7 install CD and booted it up for a system repair. The repair option found no problems but I knew better. I opened the command line option.

With some google searching I found two tools that seemed to be related to what I was looking for bcdedit and bootrec.

It turned out that bootrec was what I was looking for. Running the following two commands restored my boot record and removed grub since I no longer needed it without Linux on this system. I found this article about bootrec on Microsoft’s site to be useful as well as this other one on technet about bcdedit to find it wasn’t what I needed this time. In the process I learned a bit about how the Windows boot process has changed since Vista.

These were the magic commands that worked for me. No guarantees they will work for you but if you aren’t worried about keeping grub or another boot loader around they shouldn’t hurt.

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot

After running these commands I was able to reboot and go right into Windows without a hitch.

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